Teresa Bierman; Kathy Borgerding; Linda Brickley; Carmen Gretton; Beverly Ofstie; Scott Price; Tammy Tankersley; Kim Woehl; Karen Yust, Plaintiffs - Appellants,
Governor Mark Dayton, in His Official Capacity as Governor of the State of Minnesota; Josh Tilsen, in His Official Capacity as Commissioner of the Bureau of Mediation Services; Emily Johnson Piper, in Her Official Capacity as Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Services; SEIU Healthcare Minnesota, Defendants - Appellees.
Submitted: February 14, 2018
from United States District Court for the District of
Minnesota - Minneapolis
SMITH, Chief Judge, MURPHY and COLLOTON, Circuit Judges.
COLLOTON, CIRCUIT JUDGE
2013, Minnesota enacted a statute that extended the
state's Public Employment Labor Relations Act
("PELRA") to persons who provide in-home care to
disabled Medicaid recipients. See Individual
Providers of Direct Support Services Representation Act, ch.
128, art. 2, 2013 Minn. Laws 2173 (codified as amended at
Minn. Stat. §§ 179A.54, 256B.0711). PELRA
authorizes covered employees to organize and to designate by
majority vote an exclusive representative to negotiate
employment terms with the state. Minn. Stat. § 179A.06,
of parents who provide homecare services to their disabled
children sued several state officials and a union, alleging
that the 2013 Act violates the homecare providers'
freedom of association under the First and Fourteenth
Amendments. They complain that the Act unconstitutionally
compels them to associate with the exclusive negotiating
representative. The district court,  relying on Minnesota
State Board for Community Colleges v. Knight, 465 U.S.
271 (1984), determined that the 2013 Act does not infringe on
the providers' First Amendment rights. We agree with the
application of Knight, and therefore affirm the
judgment for the defendants.
allows public employees to organize by selecting an exclusive
representative to "meet and confer" and "meet
and negotiate" with the State regarding terms and
conditions of employment. Minn. Stat. §§ 179A.06,
179A.07. If public employees select a representative, then
the state employer must confer and negotiate exclusively with
the representative union. Id. § 179A.07,
subdivs. 2-3. Employees, however, need not join the union,
id. § 179A.06, subdiv. 2, and they remain free
to communicate with the State independent of the exclusive
representative, so long as their activity "is not
designed to and does not interfere with the full faithful and
proper performance of the duties of employment or circumvent
the rights of the exclusive representative."
Id. § 179A.06, subdiv. 1.
2013, Minnesota extended PELRA to apply to those who provide
in-home care to Medicaid recipients. Ch. 128, art. 2, 2013
Minn. Laws at 2173-78. Under the 2013 Act, Minnesota
considers homecare providers to be public employees solely
for purposes of PELRA. Minn. Stat. § 179A.54, subdiv. 2.
The Act specifies, however, that no agreement reached between
the State and the exclusive representative may interfere with
certain rights of the Medicaid recipients-namely, "to
select, hire, direct, supervise, and terminate the employment
of their individual providers; to manage an individual
service budget regarding the amounts and types of authorized
goods or services received; or to receive direct support
services from individual providers not referred to them
through a state registry." Id. § 179A.54,
2014, SEIU Healthcare Minnesota presented the Minnesota
Bureau of Mediation Services with over 9, 000 signed union
authorization cards from Minnesota homecare providers
requesting that SEIU serve as their exclusive representative.
These homecare providers then collectively submitted an
official election petition. SEIU agreed that it would not
seek mandatory fees from providers who did not join the
receiving notice of the upcoming election, the plaintiff
homecare providers sued the Governor, the Commissioner of the
Bureau of Mediation Services, and the Commissioner of the
Minnesota Department of Human Services, in their official
capacities, and SEIU. They sought to enjoin Minnesota from
conducting the election and certifying SEIU as their
exclusive representative. The providers alleged that if
Minnesota conducted the election and recognized SEIU as the
exclusive representative, the State would violate their right
not to associate under the First Amendment. The district
court refused to enjoin the election, and the vote selected
SEIU as the exclusive representative. The court then granted
judgment on the pleadings for the defendants on the
providers' First Amendment claim.
state defendants contend that there is no case or controversy
before us, because the providers lack standing to sue. They
argue that the homecare providers have not alleged a concrete
injury in fact that satisfies the minimum requirements of
Article III. The district court thought the State's
argument impermissibly conflated standing analysis with the
merits of the claim and concluded that the providers had
standing. The court apparently reasoned that the fact that
SEIU was certified as the exclusive representative for the
homecare providers was a sufficient injury in fact.
III standing requires the homecare providers to establish
that they have "(1) suffered an injury in fact, (2) that
is fairly traceable to the challenged conduct of the
defendant, and (3) that is likely to be redressed by a
favorable judicial decision." Spokeo, Inc. v.
Robins, 136 S.Ct. 1540, 1547 (2016). To establish injury
in fact, the homecare providers must show that they have
suffered a concrete and ...